Another start-to-finish thriller between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres took place on Saturday night.
Can’t all 162 games be just like this?
After just two contests between the division rivals, the hype has been everything we had hoped for.
On Friday night, an extra-innings battle that saw 17 runs scored made for one of the best games of the early season. Though Saturday didn’t have as many fireworks, it ended in tremendous dramatic fashion.
Fast forward to the bottom of the ninth. The Dodgers are up 2-0. The Padres have runners on second and third. Two outs. Victor Gonzalez vs Tommy Pham. After Gonzalez came in to relieve Blake Treinen, the left-hander walked a batter, and then a wild pitch moved the runners over to second and third. Then Pham did this:
Mookie Betts outta nowhere! A walk-off catch! Right in the palm of the glove!
That game-saving diving grab prevented two runs from scoring and either the Padres ending it with one more hit or forcing extras. The 2-0 win helped the Dodgers improve to 13-2 and capture the first series against San Diego in 2021.
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What a preview of the other 17 games we’re set to get this year. Saturday night’s pitcher’s duel between Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish saw only six hits and six walks in total. The two pitching staffs combined for 25. strikeouts. The difference-makers were a Kershaw bases-loaded walk (yup!) and a Justin Turner solo home run.
The reigning World Series champs, after losing on Opening Day, have ripped through the rest of their competition and are showing the Pads that they’re going to have to take it from LA in order to have all of their offseason moves mean something.
So far, it’s been neck-and-neck, but the experience on the Dodgers’ side has provided the biggest edge. Betts’ unmatched athleticism helped, too.